02 October 2011

UN peacekeeping mission in Timor-Leste reconfirms it did not import two containers of ammunition in 2011

East Timor Legal News Source: UNMIT Press Release UN peacekeeping mission in Timor-Leste reconfirms it did not import two containers of ammunition in 2011

For immediate release

Dili, 29 September 2011 – The United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) today reconfirmed that it has not imported, ordered, or received ammunition through the seaport of Dili this year.

"UNMIT has reviewed its records thoroughly," said UNMIT Spokesperson Carlos Araujo in response to concerns expressed in the news media. "UNMIT did not import two containers of ammunition this year. In February 2011 UNMIT imported the ammunition required for its armed security personnel who are responsible for UN staff safety. In all cases UNMIT followed United Nations regulations and the mission's agreements with the Government of Timor-Leste."

The UN peacekeeping mission is present in Timor-Leste at the request of the Government and with the authorization of the United Nations Security Council. Its purpose is to advance the security and stability of an independent Timor-Leste.

The peacekeeping mission is working closely with the Government of Timor-Leste to plan its withdrawal in December 2012 following presidential and parliamentary elections in 2012. This was reflected in the Joint Transition Plan signed on 19 September by President Ramos-Horta, Prime Minister Gusmao, and UN Special Representative Haq.

"The Mission is focussed on strengthening the foundations of long-term peace," said Araujo. "This work includes support to the Government to plan and implement the upcoming elections, provide operational support to and build the capacity of the national police force, and ensure a smooth withdrawal of UNMIT in December 2012. Following the withdrawal of UNMIT, UN agencies such as UNDP and UNICEF are expected to continue working in Timor-Leste."

For more information on the mandate of the peacekeeping mission in Timor-Leste and its efforts to foster security and stability, see the UNMIT website at www.unmit.org.

Journalists are invited to send their questions and requests for information to:  Carlos Araujo, UNMIT spokesperson at: araujoc@un.org, 731-1513.

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